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This movie captures the electrifying spirit of Neil Young & Crazy Horse in the best era of their carer! Direction is great and the performances of all the songs are mind blowing! Cortez The Killer, Hey Hey - My My & Powderfinger are played in a way that the only thing you can do is wish you have been in Cow Palace too in 1978! The stage set-up is excellent and Neil wants to show with the gigantic speakers and mikes that the music is the star here and not the musicians! A must see for all rock fans and the DVD edition is a great chance to once again yell: Rock N' Roll will never die! If you like rock music we will love this, one of the greatest rock music movies ever put on screen
Neil Young is one of the best singer-songwriters of all-time, in my opinion second only to the master, Bob Dylan.
Rust Never Sleeps, showcasing Young's work from 1967 - 1979, is an awesome experience for true rock music afficianados. Young starts things off with 'Sugar Mountain' one of his most enduring songs and moves through his legendary repertoire with ease, occasionally slipping into routine, but overall the acoustic half is excellent, 'My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) being the highlight. In the second half he brings out his long-standing backing band, Crazy Horse, and the really shine, where Young provides awesome guitar solo after another, 'Powderfinger', one of his best songs (and he has written over 800 songs!) is given a great reading, with 2 impassioned solos. 'Like A Hurricane' is one of his most famous (and best) songs, and the soloing is amazing. 'Cortez The Killer' is spoiled only by the coda being sung in a cod-Jamaican accent, but is still great, 'Tonight's The Night' is revived in a much cleaner, but less haunting reading, with a striking solo and the show ends.
What makes Rust Never Sleeps a classic concert movie, is sure as Hell not the style, Young's choice of shots is questionable at best on occasions, and the back stage snippets are redundant. 'The Last Waltz' was released the previous year, and Young appeared in that too, and ones feels that if Young had approached HIS film in the same way, with cross-cutting of interviews, it could be equally as good as Scorsese's majestic masterpiece.
But the songs are awesome, any Neil Young fans would love this movie, and as a testament to Young's live power, it is almost as good as the many excellent bootleg tapes/CDs available, and deserves a DVD release.
Incidentally, the elusive Neil Young lifetime retrospective (32 CDs!) will also include DVDs and Rust Never Sleeps the concert film, may become redundant soon, as many previous and latter live performances were even better than this.
In the meantime, all you Young fans MUST see this brilliant concert film.
I certainly love Neil Young and I must say I was disappointed with his
first self-made effort "Journey through the past" .As I do not go much
for the CSN stuff the idea of a filmed concert with Crazy Horse was
really exciting.Besides,Young was then at the height of his
powers,after releasing one of his very best records "rust never
sleeps".Sadly ,afterwards,then came a period of barren inspiration-but
Young's career was buoyant again in the nineties-,but that's another
story.Suffice to say that Neil Young's epiphanies were numerous and
brilliant ,he is second only to Bob Dylan.
The film features almost the same songs as the soundtrack album "live rust" although for instance the marvelous "thrasher" is not included in the record (and "tonight's the night" ,on the other hand,was not in the film ).Half acoustic,half electric ,Young plays like a person possessed and he revisits his catalog with gusto.Particularly impressive is his reggae version of "Cortez the Killer".
The "star wars" stuff did not impress me.It's the singer and the songs which matter.The film begins with Hendrix's "star spangled banner" and the Beatles' "a day in the life" on the PA.
All rock and roll fans should see "Rust Never Sleeps" . Neil Young is incomparable to any one else in music . Fans should also seek out "Neil and Me" written by his father , Scott Young. Even though it's over 20 years old the concert film has not lost any of its power - get ready to watch it over and over.
At last I've been able to see this concert, which I've had on vinyl since I was young!!!! hahahaha. One of my favourite live rock albums ever, and on video its really exciting. Neil Young, some 30 years later, is still one of the best performers on stage. In fact, last year (2008) he played in Rock In Rio in Madrid and I saw the concert on TV: it was simply mind-blowing!!!! In this video, though, something has got on my nerves: the monks with torch lights plundering around the stage, and making so much noise as they go on changing the stage!!!! Was that meant to be like that??? Its really annoying. As it is the Stage announcements after My My Hey Hey (Out of the blue). The highlight, for me, is Like a Hurricane: rock'n'roll will never die indeed!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
wow, not only are the songs absolutely incredible but the imagery and loose end style is phenomenal. This movie is not just a rock film, its like an intense time warp journey through space. From the little sand people to the stage announcements, everything fits perfectly. This is the complete F***ing opposite of a washed up rock star. Neil delivers the smartest and most visually breathtaking performance of the decade. He makes every song interesting with Jamaican accents, giant amps, Rust-O-Vision goggles and characters that come seemingly from nowhere and depart into the recesses of the strange twenty foot tall amplifiers This film will blow your mind and leave you a changed person 100/100
I saw this concert film when it was first released in Australia and
still have respect for the fact that it wasn't edited to present Neil
as a 'star': like a lot of his albums, it's a "warts-and-all"
Another commentator bemoaned the fact that "Tonight's The Night" wasn't included in the footage. I dunno. Perhaps it was, even as late as then, a too-sensitive subject for Neil and The Horse to explore on stage. Then again, there had to be differences between "Rust Never Sleeps" and "Live Rust".
"Rust" as a 'show' was a concept: a piece of theatre that sometimes didn't work and at other times captured the sheer vitality and looseness which has been a trademark of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
The 'road-eyes', apart from being an atrocious pun (both linguistically and visually) can be seen as a comment, by Young, about the almost non-presence of roadies in the audiences' perceptions. The visual reversal of size: roadies small/equipment big is, as another pointed-out, an almost surreal juxtaposition. Acoustic Neil, crawling out of his sleeping bag, and later indicating that when he gets big he wants a real guitar, is his trademark self-deprecating humour.
I have only one main criticism about "Rust Never Sleeps" - and that is purely that the cinematic/reproduction quality of the video was so abominably terrible. Still, that's production values for you. I'd probably have "bitched about" technicalities to do with a performance of a Shakespearean play, had I been there in Elizabethan times. Huh, yeah. I'd have been outside, sweeping-up horse-droppings to resell for fuel.
Rust never sleeps is certainly one of the best live concerts ever and probably the best of it's decade Groundbreaking for it's time and still a classic today I can't tell you how much I LOVE it. The opening with the Hendrix underscore and the Beatles's 'a day in the life' and then Neil stars singing; just him and his guitar at their live acoustic best. It's the perfect mix of electric and acoustic, old and new and set the standard for live shows from then on. And the best part is that it lasts for 2 whole hours nowadays concerts just last 90 mins or so. Before i bought this DVD I already owned a couple of his albums among which the rust never sleeps album but this DVD pursued me to buy even more. I now own almost 20 of his cd's and i bought mu first cd just under a year ago: Harvest. That shows the shear quality of him as an artist.
Another reviewer complained about the opening with the Jawas. On one hand, I
see how it slows the beginning of the film.
As a fan of live music, I have to say that the best concert videos are those that capture, as well as possible, the essence of the live show. If part of going to the show was the theatrics, then why not include it in the film?
Too much of today's pre-packaged pop may be choreographed, but has no sense of theater. I'm not saying that Jawa roadies are the height of performance art, but it's something.
Overall - I'll echo everyone else: great slice of Neil's career. I always pause whatever I'm doing when I hear Sugar Mountain, and I'm still not sure why.
Rust Never Sleeps (1979)
*** (out of 4)
Neil Young and Crazy Horse take the stage at the Cow Palace for this show that took place on October 22nd, 1978. Many Young fans consider this tour to be one of his best and we get many classic tunes including: Sugar Mountain, After the Gold Rush, My My Hey Hey (both versions), The Needle and the Damage Done, Cinnamon Girl, Like a Hurricane and Welfare Mothers. It seems this tour was highly thought of but at the same time this film seems to draw some heat. This was my first time viewing it and my first time seeing any Young performance from this era and I must admit that I really liked it. I agree with some of the negative press that the filming was quite poor as much of the concert doesn't go to film very well as it's dark, grainy and at times the camera doesn't seem to know what it wants to focus on. There's a stage act going on but none of this is captured very well. Having said that, the music is certainly the most important thing here and the performances are terrific. Young does some solo numbers, which are excellent as are the stuff with Crazy Horse. Some of the highlights including a rocking version of Like a Hurricane and a very somber The Needle and the Damage Done. Even some of the lesser known tunes come off extremely well. Young's vocals are very good and the guitar playing is tops as usual. The film kicks off with some Hendrix and Beatles so that's never a bad thing.
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